Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Tablet on Nichols


Ms Curti of the Tablet has a piece on the Archbishop Nichols, she does her best to portray him as a political opportunist, there is a suggestion of dishonesty and media manipulation.

...he was also an espouser of liberal causes. But while his stock was high among more liberal Catholics, the decision-makers in Rome were said to be less impressed. His mentor, the Archbishop of Liverpool, Derek Worlock, watched this in frustration. He reputedly took "Fr Vin" to one side and told him: "We can't get you into the hierarchy if you carry on like this. You have to make yourself more favourable to Rome."
.....
Vincent Nichols' critics suggest this explains why he became more overtly orthodox when he became Archbishop of Birmingham.
....
There he made it a priority to be visible in the local media, speaking out on local and national issues. His faithful press secretary, Peter Jennings, was ever at his side to exploit photo opportunities.
....
But another seasoned observer feared mainstream English society would find such political shooting from the hip alienating. "If Vincent Nichols uses Westminster as a soap-box to complain about secularism, multiculturalism and all the other -isms it will put people off. Catholics will be back in the ghetto," he said.
.....
Is there always a sour nastiness in Elena Curti's writing? It is perhaps difficult for such an ideologically driven organ like The Tablet to accept it is possible for someone who was once an "espouser of liberal causes" to decide such causes were foolish, ill thought out and bankrupt. Many priests of my generation, and the Archbishops, held and taught views, did things liturgically, that now we see caused an immense amount of damage, a loss of faith and a loss of Catholic identity.

Newman says, "to change is to grow", cannot Ms Curti believe the Archbishop might have grown-up and has given up the adolescent views espoused by her newspaper?


What was Cato always said about Carthage?

16 comments:

Laurence England said...

Ghetto?

Bring it on...If the Church isn't being persecuted in some way in this now most anti-Christian of countries, something's wrong. Clearly, Curti wants the new Archbishop to say nice things, smile politely while the Government tramples all over Church teaching and pick up a peerage at the end of his reign. Another 10 years of that?

I'll take the ghetto.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Do you mean does a leopard change its spots Fr Ray?

Fr Ray Blake said...

Jackie,
Let's believe in the effect of grace and conversion like good Catholics.

GOR said...

“Newman says, ‘to change is to grow’…”

Precisely, Father. I can recall a time when a certain Fr. Josef Ratzinger was considered a ‘liberal’, a ‘progressive’ and was viewed with some suspicion by certain Jesuit professors at the Gregorian around the time of Vatican II. When Peter Seewald asked him in 1996 why he had not become “a great critic in the tradition of the German rebels against the Church”, he replied:

“Although the constellations in which I have found myself – and naturally also in the periods of life and their different influences – have led to changes and development in the accents of my thought, my basic impulse, precisely during the Council, was always to free up the authentic kernel of the Faith from encrustations and to give this kernel strength and dynamism. This impulse is the constant of my life.”

Might we not hope for the same impulse from Ab. Nichols? Different roles can change a man. Look at St. Peter!

dillydaydream said...

Let's take, for a moment, the most cynical and worldly view of the Archbishop's damascene change of heart - which seems to be that he is simply furthering his own ambition. (I don't necessarily agree with this. I believe that people, myself included learn from youthful mistakes, and become naturally more conservative with age). If it is indeed the case that orthodoxy and liturgical conservatism is suddenly fashionable and necessary for promotion then this country and many others will be almost unrecognisable in terms of catholic leadership within ten years or so. And among the pool of candidates, genuinely orthodox and traditional clergy will not be sidelined. This assumes "tipping point" will be reached during the current papacy. And that is in the hands of God.

Andrew, York said...

Delicious irony. Ms Curti says +Vincent was once "liberal" but then increasingly "espoused orthodoxy". Did she mean to say Conservative, or does she admit the difficulties in being liberal and orthodox?

Francis said...

Fr. Ray,

The honour-roll of distinguished Catholic clergymen dissed by the Tablet goes on and on:

Pope Benedict XVI ("reactionary")
Fr. Tim Finegan ("divisive")
Fr. Andrew Wadsworth ("Tridentine")
Archbishop Vincent Nichols ("orthodox")

Who's next for this great accolade?

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Oh OK Fr Ray!

Christopher said...
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Deacon Stephen Morgan said...

Actually, Father, Newman says nothing of the sort. What he says is "In another world it might be different but here below to live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often". It is from his An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine. What he means is that in order for a doctrine to remain constant, faithful to its content, the manner in which it is presented needs to take account of the development of human thought. An example might be the need to find a manner of talking about creation that retains the central dogmatic truth that God is the sole author of all that is created whilst presenting it in a manner that a pre-copernican could understand it and grasp it and really assent to it then and that you and I, knowing what is now known about the Cosmos, can do the same today.

In any event, I think the expression you were searching for is Tablet delenda est!

Fr Ray Blake said...

Christopher you ask, "Where's the dishonesty and media manipulation?"

media manipulation here:-
"...was ever at his side to exploit photo opportunities."

dishonesty, seems to be what Curti says all through the article.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Actually Fr Ray..I don't think it's OK! I actually think much of what Tony Blair teaches from his pulpit is downright evil & won't be hanging around awaiting his conversion. I thought he'd supposed to have had one already!

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Also I wouldn't like to have our dear Cardinal Newman mentioned in the same paragraph as Blair. Call ME anti-Catholic if you like!

Christopher said...
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Delia said...

Goodness, La Curti is talking about 20 years ago! A lot can happen to a person in that time. How does she or anyone else know what his motives were or are?

Isn't Jackie commenting on the wrong thread??

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Oh yeah i think I am! Woops!

Triduum fever!